Productivity: what is useful work

According to the Cambridge dictionary productivity is the rate at which we do useful work. Did the number of hours I put into something yield useful/beneficial results?

How many minutes did I spend creating this blog? How many minutes on answering a text message while creating it. And what value do I get from all of that time spent? Was it worth the time?

It all boils down to what Seth Godin refers to as business/busyness. The trick is to separate being busy (busyness) from creating value (productivity). Being busy is not constructive.

JustMeneesha, Meneesha Govender, blog, freelance, freelancer, entrepreneur, productivity
The trick is to separate being busy (busyness) from creating value (productivity). Being busy is not constructive.

Upskilling

To be productive we need to be good at what we do. Is upskilling a part of your business plan?

The fact is, trained or skilled people are more productive than untrained people. Skill matters. It matters a whole lot. Employing someone who knows what you do increases the productivity of your business. Learning what you don’t know, will also make you more productive.

I’ve learnt quickly in my business that winging it will only get me so far. Not being afraid to upskill has stood me in good stead.

Multitasking

There was a time multitasking was a badge we wore with pride. But more and more studies are showing that we’re fooling ourselves if we think we can take a call and answer an email while having lunch with a colleague. Juggling many “small” tasks at once is tempting – especially when you are a solopreneur. But it doesn’t work. Focusing on one task a time allows you to finish each task faster.

In my line of work, being productive is crucial. And I find myself regularly interrogating what being productive really means to me. I keep coming back to one simple fact… every day is not going to be perfectly productive. I’m going to have an oops once in a while.

Do I beat myself over this? Or do I refocus my energy and implement the ideas I’m sharing with you? Finding balance is key. Working in short effective bursts is crucial. And taking regular breaks is vital.

Now excuse me while I do just that. You should too!

Like what you read? Look at more of my musings here.

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